Monday, October 24, 2011

The Immersion Process: Getting Into It

On Wednesday, I attended a lecture on swimming with our coach Sheila Taormina.

On Friday, we enjoyed a 2-hour ‘Call The Suit’ pool session. This included instruction, correction of strokes, swim drills and video capture. With Sheila’s encouraging approach and our open-mindedness, we allowed ourselves to feel the watery. I must admit that having fun was a new aspect of the swim training equation. We learnt to analyse and focus on one thing to improve at a time.

On Saturday morning, I supplemented my pool session immediately with an open-water session with six others at the beach opposite Big Splash@ East Coast. We learn to go around buoys, sighting (forward then head turn for breathing), drafting in a pack, taking turns to lead, and some drills (Weissmuller/Tarzan drills). David Greenfield of Elite Customs reminded us that muscle memory takes place in 23 days through repetition.

What I learnt from my session were:

1)    I can and will enjoy swimming in the future. Always begin with a proper streamlining posture.
2)    Specific drills must be done in order to correct ineffective and inefficient strokes.
3)    Focus on high elbow pulls.
4)    Feel the water at the pals, wrist and forearms.
5)    Form vortices (whirlpools) with sculling drills, as well as with a good high pull.
6)    Press palms against the water upon completion of the pull.
7)    Use swimming bands to practice on land; linear return at completion of stroke (not simulate the overhead return).
8)    Watch videos of the best swimmers and remind ourselves of the high elbow pull, and feel of the water.
9)    Eliminate gliding as it adds time to the stroke. Stroke X Rate = Speed.
10) Coaching well leads to heightened self-awareness and motivation to progress and improve.
Photo-credit: Edwin Low of Elite Customs (Sheila interviewed by MediaCorp Radio 938 Live in 'A Slice of Life')

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